Friday, February 21, 2014

Selfies on Ice and the Powerhouse Building

Selfies on Ice: Going Back to the Latest Photoshoot Location, Photograph the Snow and the Deteriorating Powerhouse Building


A few days ago I had the opportunity to photograph a very nice and determined young lady for a publications (more on that to come soon, I promise). We even went outside to take a few pictures, snow and wind and snowstorm and all.

But then the snow stopped. And shortly afterwards, it started yet again. So I got out of the house to check it out.I found out that, in spite of the snow and fog and flakes, lives went on...and is still does.

Here are a few images I shot that day, including a couple of selfies (yes, I was wearing my photo-shoot attire, appropriate to this kinda weather, LOL!)



Freedom Tower and Lower Manhattan in fog and snow(flakes) during one of the many winter storms of this year. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Freedom Tower and Lower Manhattan in fog and snow(flakes) during one of the many winter storms of this year. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Seagull against the Snow. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Seagull against the Snow on the Waterfront. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Deteriorating Powerhouse Building. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Deteriorating Powerhouse Building. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved. 

Close up of Deteriorating Powerhouse Building. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Close-Up of Deteriorating Powerhouse Building. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.




The Powerhouse building, continuing to deteriorate, while the Powerhouse Stabilization project is present only on billboards, though nothing is actually done. Come to think that the signs are there just for show. Guess those in charge are just waiting for the historical Powerhouse building to finally collapse (and it will, soon, since it has no roof, nor windows, and the colorful boards don't really do much to protect it). Then there's no excuse to squeeze yet another highrise in its place.... Sad, but it wouldn't be surprising at all. Quite the contrary...


 But, snow storm or not, life goes on. Young women take a stroll or jog on the waterfront.


Life Goes On. Young women walk and jog on the waterfront during a snowstorm. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Life Goes On on the Waterfront. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Against the Snowstorm. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Here I am, facing the snowstorm, Lower Manhattan in the background.
 
Hope this winter will be over soon. Wishing you a great weekend!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald
Writer/Photographer/Author

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weather: Photographing Fog

Fog

What comes to mind when we think about fog?

A kind of mystery? An element of surprise? Halloween? Ghosts? An unknown we don't really want to get to know? 

Fog in the city may not be that scary. After all, we know the city--its sounds, its pulse. But get lost in the fog while in the middle of nature, with no compass to guide you North, and fog can be quite...well, quite scary. Fog takes away our ability to see, allowing us, at most, to make up silhouettes and shadows. Shapes we cannot quite recognize.

Shades of light rays seep through fog. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Shades of light rays seep through fog. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
In the above image, I was on a trail, in the middle of nature. Fog was coming in waves, covering everything for a few moments, only to disappear slowly, as if veiling and unveiling a beautiful scenery. Meanwhile, rays of sunlight would seep through the fog, coloring it in warm shades of red and orange.

Usually, while in the middle of Mother Nature, fog is accompanied by silence. A deafening silence that adds to the mystery, and also to the realization that Mother Nature is still in charge. Dare we upset Her. Maybe not.

Lehua Fog. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lehua Fog. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lehua is a small tip of an island, off the coast of Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii, and Nihau, the Forbidden Island of Hawaii. Lehua is only a birds' paradise, otherwise not inhabited.

So, we find ourselves lost. Without our sight or hearing. Pushed around by a windy breeze that we can only feel. A breeze that brushes us gently, forcing us to drift away into the wild unknown.


But fog is also interesting to photograph. Maybe because of its mystery.  Here are a few images of fog I've taken over the years. For more fog, nature and landscape photography, click here.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald
Writer. Photographer. Author.


Fog over Napali Coast Observatory. Kauai, Hawaii. B&W Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Fog over Napali Coast Observatory. Kauai, Hawaii. B&W Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
 In the above image, clouds and fog cover Kauai's Napali Coast, heading toward the observatory.

Fog over Nihau. The Forbidden Island of Hawaii. B&W Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Fog over Nihau. The Forbidden Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Nihau, or the Forbidden Island of Hawaii, is mysterious in itself. It doesn't need fog (like in the above image) to add to its mystery. And yet, on that foggy, cloudy day, the shape of Nihau resembled some kind of a monster, coming out of the water, and fog.

Fog over Haleakala Observatory. Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Fog over Haleakala Observatory. Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Another Hawaiian island, another observatory. This time, Haleakala National Park, in Maui, Hawaii.

Fog and Smoke on Big Island Lava Fields. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Fog and Smoke on Big Island Lava Fields. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

'fog' is due to the smoking craters, on the Big Island. Aerial Photography of smoking lava fields by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes 'fog' is due to the smoking craters, on the Big Island. Aerial Photography of smoking lava fields by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Photographing Pets and Animals in the Wild


Photographing pets and animals in the wild, from dogs and cats, to dogs at the NYC Pride Parade and Hawaiian birds, or catching a glimpse of the beautiful wild life around us, while whale watching...these are a few of my snapshots of pets and animals.

I'm a dog person. But also I'm an animal lover, in general. They brighten our day and put a smile on our face. They are our best friends and therapists. They don't judge us, and always welcome us with unconditional love. Who wouldn't want (or at times need) that? I know I do....


Ambrose, Kurt Weston's guide dog, at CNN headquarters. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Ambrose, Kurt Weston's guide dog, at CNN headquarters. Photo by Alina Oswald.

 [Award-winning photographer Kurt Weston is the subject of my book, Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography. Weston won the 2nd CNN iReport Award for Personal Stories. I joined him in Atlanta, for the ceremony. Ambrose is his guide dog, a devoted friend and a gorgeous dog. In the above image, he is waiting patiently at the foot of his owner, in the cafeteria of CNN Headquarters, in Atlanta.

To learn more about my CNN iReport on Kurt Weston, check out Reflections on a Lifetime of AIDS.

To watch Kurt Weston accepting the CNN iReport Award and hear his acceptance speech, check out Kurt Weston accepts iReport award.

To watch CNN's Fredricka Whitfield interviewing Kurt Weston on CNN, check out Blind Photographers View of the World.


Kurt Weston and Ambrose on the stage, accepting his award. CNN's Michael Holmes by his side.






To read more about Kurt Weston's art and life, check out his biography, Journeys Through Darkness, written by yours truly, and including photographs by Kurt Weston. To find out what others have to say about Journeys, check out a review here. ]


I leave you with a few more pictures of pets and animals... As always, thanks for stopping by!

Writer/Photographer/Author

Dogs looking through fence in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Dogs looking through fence in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Alina Oswald.
When it comes to photographing pets and animals, well. that can be a challenge. Thing is that they move a lot, are quite inquisitive, and also very shy, when it comes to photographing them.

And if you think that photographing dogs or even cats (yes, Miss Fey :-)) is hard, try to catch a glimpse of a whale or dolphin.... It's challenging.

So, I'd like to share a few of my snapshots of images of animals and pets, and thank them for always being loyal, best friends forever.




But I don't photograph only dogs. I also capture cats, whenever they let me. (I know Miss Fey, you are in charge. Miss Fey is one of my favorite cats who thoroughly checked out my gear bag, and only after approving of its contents, she agreed to pose, briefly. She also meows on the phone, whenever I chat with her 'human,' which, by the way, is award-winning author T.J. Banks. To find out more about her books (including Catsong, Souleiado and Sketch People), check out her Sketch People blog here.
cat photography against an orange background.photo by Alina Oswald.
Portrait of a Cat. To find out more, check out http://tjbanks927.blogspot.com/.

Cat Photography. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Cat Photography: Miss Fey. Find out more at http://tjbanks927.blogspot.com/

Animals don't always have four legs. Some have two, and some have many more...like the sea (or I should say beach) creature below. I remember I was sitting on this Lanai beach a few years ago, camera in hand (with the long lens attached), catching my breath, when I noticed this...creature crawling in the sand. It begged for a picture.
Nene the Hawaiian Goose in the grass. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Nene the Hawaiian Goose. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Last time I visited Hawaii, which happened too long ago if I think of it, I was looking for Nene, the Hawaiian goose. There were signs and drawings of it all over the place, warning us to watch out for the goose, but I wasn't sure how it looked like, or how big a bird it was.
Needless to say, I couldn't spot any Nene. Disappointed, I got back inside the car and pulled out of the parking lot...and then I noticed it. The Nene, slightly larger size than a well-fed regular goose. It was talking in the grass, one step at a time. Not sure if it was looking for food, or for somebody to chase away. I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone, and took off.

Sea creature on Lanai beach, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Sea creature on Lanai beach, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Sometimes our furry or feathery friends don't have four legs, or two legs. They have many legs. While in Hawaii, I also visited the island of Lanai (a catamaran ride from Maui). We finally got to Lanai beach. Beautiful, by the way. Anyway...I plopped on the sand, trying to catch my breath. Camera in hand, of course, and as it happened, with my long lens attached to it. I was trying to take in the surroundings, when I noticed this...sea creature crawling towards me, begging to have its picture taken.


Sometimes animals are not only humans' best friends, but also they find a sweet spot inside a vampire's heart, too.
Even vampires love their pets. Here is Octavia, the cat, in the arms of her vampire. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Even vampires love their pets. Here is Octavia, the cat, in the arms of her vampire. Photo by Alina Oswald.